• Germany's news in English

Poor children losing hope early

DPA/The Local · 1 Jun 2010, 19:01

Published: 01 Jun 2010 19:01 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to the second annual World Vision children’s study, most of the country's children (80 percent) between six and 11-years-old have a positive outlook for the future. But the remaining 20 percent of children, who suffered from poverty and little encouragement at home or in school, learned early not to expect a bright future.

“Children from the privileged classes can take advantage of their better chances from the beginning,” co-author of the representative study Professor Klaus Hurrelmann said.

More than 2,500 schoolchildren took part in the study aimed at finding out for the first time how younger kids see their world. Results showed that even younger children realise they are underprivileged and wish to have their voices heard. A healthy self-esteem and the experience of being an effectual person are fundamental aspects positive child development that these children often do not experience, Hurrelmann and his co-author Sabine Andresen said.

“But the lower fifth is breaking away from us,” Hurrelmann said, explaining the situation had worsened since 2007. “These children see their futures negatively and don’t trust in any successful educational system. Their daily lives are spent in large part alone in front of the television or other forms of media consumption. Boys are particularly at risk here.”

Meanwhile more privileged children not only get more support at home, they also have more free time options. While 43 percent of wealthier children reported taking part in creative and musical activities after school, only five percent of poor children did the same.

“But the bridge to this greater educational orientation currently happens through the school,” Hurrelmann said.

Other aspects of the study showed that parental attention was very important to the younger children, but not constantly desired. Instead it should be short and intensive, Hurrelmann said, adding that this should be a relief to working parents.

Most children reported having two working parents, but said this made no negative impact.

Story continues below…

“On the contrary, the children wish for parents who are socially integrated. It’s the children with unemployed parents and little structure in their daily lives who complain about too little parental attention,” Hurrelmann said.

The researchers were particularly concerned about this in single parent homes.

“These are still massively underprivileged in our society,” Andresen said, encouraging more state spending on full-day schools with attractive free-time offerings.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

23:32 June 1, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, life in Germany was simply easier, before the introduction of the EU. At this point, I beleive that the very best thing would be to reduce the size of EU.

The truth is, some people were overly optimistic.

A smooth transition by some nations, out of the Euro and into a national currency is perhaps the appropriate solution. With this approach, countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal wouldn't have to make such extreme cuts to their budgets. Otherwise, the profound reduction in workers pay might send Europe into a financial abyss.
00:41 June 2, 2010 by Prufrock2010
This story is news? Because...?
02:29 June 2, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Yeah, well, duh!

They have been told a million times what their standing is on the economic ladder. Its a favorite pastime.

These are the effects of Class Warfare.

a 4 year old knows their socio-economic standing, just like they know Papa likes bier.

'Welcome to Germany! now, if you're low income, you are to behave as a maligned Miserable Wretch who needs a hand out. and Vote Links! and Don't forget to tell your kids' over and over and over again.
10:06 June 2, 2010 by whiteriver
@Logic Guy:

Is your comments from some other article?
15:28 June 2, 2010 by dbert4
@derExDeutsche - is that in contrast to Americans which ALL believe that they're going to be rich someday? As soon as their "home equity loan" is approved or another credit card arrives or they win the lotto that is.

And since they're going to be rich, they refuse to accept taxes on people who that can afford it. Even though 47% of them aren't paying federal taxes now, I guess that it doesn't hurt to plan for the future!

Or the future that your local Republican politican tells you that you're going to here, until the next crash or till off-shoring costs you your job.

Are those people your pools of endless optimism?
17:52 June 2, 2010 by derExDeutsche

I am not exactly sure if I understand, but I think I understand the direction you're going.

I wish TheLocal would let people edit their comments for a short time after posting! A lot of us(me especially) aren't such great type-ers, and comments would be more coherent.

are you talking about American Debt? Yeah, we have Debt, too. Even though, there is still opportunity for those that seek it in America. With WORK one is able to achieve in America, and also in Germany. There are stories of both Wealthy Families that are poor again after 1 Generation, and Poor Families that achieve wealth in 1 Generation. The difference is that in Germany, there is a much more ingrained sense of 'Class consciousness'.

from wiki:

'social mobility has made class less meaningful.' and in my opinion the ONLY thing that makes Class less meaningful.

But the German Maxists will disagree with me, and keep their Class Consciousness campaigns in full swing. Just don't cry to me about the Poor German Children afterward. You've got 'em trained.
20:55 June 2, 2010 by dbert4
@derExDeutsche - Yes I was talking about American debt. And yes, what I see on the screen after I hit that send button is seldom what I thought that I wrote.

I've lived in a number of countries. In all of them, there was the opportunity to make money. I believe that the Ami's are too optimistic and the Germanys too pestimistic in regard to the opportuniy to sucessed.
01:20 June 3, 2010 by CPT/USA

Opportunity and hard work makes people wealthy, not wealth redistribution (taxes). Someone on welfare ( a state run agency) will never be rich. Welfare was never designed to enrich. Its design was to safety net those that fell on bad times. i also do not believe in your 47% figure.
21:58 June 6, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I beleive that we should give credit wherever it's due.

Statements that I make here on The Local, are for the most part, generated internally. When I say words that were spoken by others, then I mention their names and use quotation marks.

As of this moment, I have yet to hear anyone else promote the combination of smaller Euro, less cuts in workers pay, smooth transition into a national currency for some nations, along with slightly higher taxes for the wealthy. Logically, this philosophical approach would do wonders for Europe, and the whole world for that matter. Absolutely everyone would benefit.
23:19 June 7, 2010 by Talonx
@ Logic Guy

What does this have to do with the EU?

@ derExDeutsche

As far as your 'stories' of generational mobility, they are simply stories for the vast majority, that's why you can only refer to them as stories. I would be surprised if you knew more than one family that moved from, what was considered rich to poor in any respective time-period. Additionally, If you're going to cite something, give the link please (especially for wiki, it's nice to look at the article and check out citations). Anyways, you should also look up the term 'marxism', you don't seem to have a grasp of it.


Wealth is oppurtunity and so your statement is fundamentally flawed, inconsistent, and paradoxical.
21:56 June 8, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, my multi-solution approach is aimed exclusively at Euorpe, obviously. Only Euope uses the Euro. And the huge cuts in the pay of workers is something that might do more harm than good.
11:55 June 9, 2010 by William Thirteen
lucky kids. some of us have to wait our entire lives before we lose hope!
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd